For the longest time I couldn’t talk about my story. It was too painful and I couldn’t see any good in it.
Through therapy (lots of therapy!) and finding an amazing supportive community of women who have experienced similar struggles I have found so much healing in sharing my story.
I want my story to provide hope to others even though I don’t have my happy ending...yet!
One thing I realized when I first started connecting with women in this community is that most women don’t open up until they have their miracle baby. And while that can provide so much hope, it didn’t really teach me how to live with my grief and pain.
This is one reason I decided to open up about my story before we have our happy ending. I know it’s coming and I’ve learned so much along the way I can’t keep it to myself if it could help someone else.
It took us a while to decide we wanted to start trying for a baby. We met with our therapist many times to make sure we were both in a place where we were ready to welcome a child into our family.
To be honest, and I think this is true for most couples, I wanted to start a family more than Dan did at that point. I remember meeting in our therapist’s office and saying “it could take us 3 years to have a baby so I don’t want to wait any longer.”
I don’t think I really believed that it would take that long at the time but I’m glad we didn’t hold off any longer because it hasn’t been as easy as we had hoped.
When I first found out I was pregnant I was ecstatic but so guarded. With that pregnancy enough had already gone wrong that I had a good idea I was losing that baby. That’s when my husband first stepped in as my strongest support. He held me while I cried and was there for me in the middle of the night when I needed him most.
That first loss was hard but 1 in 4 women experience miscarriage so I thought it was just bad luck that my first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Surely the next time would lead to success.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t meant to be for us. We continued to experience miscarriages. 2018 was a hard year. Out of my first 5 cycles that year I got pregnant 4 times and we miscarried each of those pregnancies for a total of 7 lost babies.
After we lost number 6 we talked seriously about adoption and started down that road. I had felt strongly for awhile that we had a baby meant for our family that would come to us through the miracle of adoption.
Everything for the adoption process went so smoothly it further confirmed my feelings. We were presented a situation a short 2 weeks after becoming active with the agency and a week later we were chosen.
We were not expecting things to move so quickly!
In the home study process we had been asked if we had grieved our losses and the loss of having a biological child. We both felt we had. But after being matched everything started to feel all too real.
That was the first time Dan realized he had been so concerned with my grieving process, he actually hadn’t grieved any of our losses.
It was so hard to back out of that match. I’m sure she was placed with a loving family but I’ll always wonder about her and who she would have been.
I think that was the first time my husband clearly realized he wanted a family for him and not just for me. So as hard as it was, I’m truly grateful for that situation because it’s made both of us much more committed to growing our family, however that looks.
We recently completed our IVF egg retrieval and are awaiting results of PGT testing so we can plan our first transfer. While we are hopeful IVF will work for us, we haven’t given up on the dream of adding to our family through adoption.
Despite all the struggles we’ve had in starting our family, I genuinely feel like I’m in a good place right now.
I can see pregnancy announcements and (most of the time!) feel joy for them instead of sadness for myself.
My husband and I can laugh and enjoy our time together without constantly talking about CDs and DPOs.
I’ve learned to love my body despite what it hasn’t been able to do for me.
Mostly I’m grateful that Dan and I have been able to strengthen our relationship through all this. I want to start and raise a family with him. I know how hard infertility and pregnancy loss can be on a relationship and I couldn’t imagine going through it with anyone but him.
I have high hopes for what this year will bring and can’t wait to meet our child no matter how he or she joins our family.
You can follow Cristina's journey on Instagram at storyoflossandhope